Enchanted River: Unearthly Basin of the Deep Blue | Surigao del Sur

"♫♪♫ I belong with you, you belong with me you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me you're my sweet (Ho!) ♫♪♫"

Sings the male fairy as he flaps his wings quickly, unseen by the object of his desire—a beautiful girl staring, jaw dropped in fascination at the blue colored waters of what is known as the "Enchanted River." The male love-stuck fairy casts a magical spell, but every time he points his wand at the girl, it emits a "pfffft" sound. The other fairies all laughed in unison at him. The earthly woman stripped down to her underwear, revealing a two-piece suit that accentuates her vivacious curves. Meanwhile, the Romeo-wannabe fairy has accepted that his world will never blend with that of the woman. As he sat idle on a little stone, tears flowed down his eyes wondering how it feels like to be a human in the Earthly world.

Eileen Campos as fairy lover

Back in our world.

Enchanted River is located at Barangay Talisay at Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It is actually closer to Butuan City than Surigao City. We arrived at our destination after a half-hour ride on the roller coaster habal-habal. We were one of the first visitors that day, and the river wasn't yet teeming with swimmers. I sat down and stared at the river, which was about the size of half a football field. The shimmery slow moving blue waters and visible limestone beneath create a surreal unearthly appearance. I was immediately reminded of Terry Pratchett's imaginative world from his many fantasy books.

Eileen Campos

The Enchanted River is shaped like a giant bowl, with the deepest section in the center and shallower sections stretching towards the river's mouth, where it eventually meets the open sea. Because the river connects to the sea, visitors can take an island-hopping tour, which we did that morning. We spent the next hour and a half on the boat, passing by "C-Fish Cage N Sand Bars Resort," a fish sanctuary turned hostel in the middle of the sea. We also docked into a couple of small islands, however If you have been to Coron, Palawan or even El Nido, you won't awed much by the island hopping part. I suggest you might just wanna spend all of your time lounging at the Enchanted River.

Eileen Campos

Our last destination is called Margaret Island Peak. Its a small island with a curvy hill and on top, you can regale at the panoramic view of the Pacific ocean. This place might have salvaged our brief island hopping trip which cost us 240 pesos for the boat rental. ( maximum of four people / 1 and 1/2 hour - not bad!)

Eileen Campos

When we went back to Enchanted river an hour and a half later, we went to the nearby fresh seafood stalls located outside and bought crabs and pusit for our lunch. We also had it cooked right then and there. While Nathalie awaits for our lunch to be served, Gael and I quickly went for a swim. Since it was a holiday, the place slowly filled up with people. 

Eileen Campos

I was trying to look under the river, but all I could see were rays of light reflecting luminously against the limestone rocks and a seemingly endless color blue. In the middle, however, a massive crack on a large boulder is visible, much like an open wound on flesh. Its entrance, I assume, leads to the river's deepest part. I heard stories about scuba divers who tried exploring it but came up with no definitive answer as to how deep the enchanted river truly reaches beneath the surface.

Perhaps there is a portal to another world beneath. Possibly Enchanted River is a passageway to another reality that has become entangled with our own through a series of twists and turns. Okay, that was a stretch of my imagination. Whatever the case may be, I'm glad I finally got to see it for myself. I'm not sure if it conjured up a sense of enchantment, but the experience and sight of it captivated me.

When he saw the Earthly woman again, she was talking to man, and with a twinkle in her eyes, he saw a picture of a girl madly in love. Soon after, the Earthly woman nudged the man, and they both leapt into the enchanted river. Instead of being jealous, the fairy became visibly pleased with what he had witnessed. He flew over and stretched his wings, tried his wand again, and instead of a "pfffft," it sounded like an off key G-minor, and the next thing he knew, he was swimming in the middle of the enchanted river as an Earthly creature as he could ever be.

Eileen Campos

"How deep you think this is" asks the beautiful woman.
"Uhm you were talking to me" says the fairy who has now became an Earthly creature
"Yes, who do you think I am talking to" answers the woman.
"This river is never-ending, its deepness cannot be measured" says the former fairy prince.
"Fair enough, my brother was kidding me that it leads to another world, that's why they call it Enchanted River" said the woman.
"Your brother? I though he was your lover" a beaming artist formerly known as the fairy prince said with delight.
"Nah, he's my silly brother" said the girl. "My name is Eileen by the way, you are?"
"Oh, mine is uhhhm Marky" 
"Nice to meet you Marky" said Eileen.

When he looked around, he noticed his fellow fairies scratching their heads, wondering what he was doing as an Earthly creature. One of them tries to point his wand at him, but an elderly fairy stops him and says, "Let him see and feel what the Earth world is like."